March 25, 2021 – Vanderbilt will return to in-person residential learning in fall 2021
Dear Vanderbilt Community,
Last week marked one year since our university began adapting to a future of unknowns. The COVID-19 pandemic has steadily tested our community, inspiring us to think creatively and work together across disciplines to build a “new normal” in which students, faculty and staff could thrive amid challenge. Through it all, and to this day, I am struck by your perseverance and optimism.
We share in your optimism as warmer weather allows for more opportunities for outdoor in-person socializing and as positive trends continue related to COVID-19 case counts and vaccinations. Recent progress on our campus is encouraging, and that progress has been largely made possible through diligent observation of safety protocols.
Based on this information, the university will offer fall semester classes in person. The semester will begin Aug. 25 and conclude Dec. 18, and we will be observing Fall Break Oct. 14–15. You will be receiving additional details about the fall calendar today, but this marks a turning point that many of us have longed for in the trajectory of the pandemic.
As always, our decision is rooted in science. Current public health data indicate trends that will allow us to return to in-person learning, however, we know we must remain vigilant in following health and safety protocols, and we are prepared to adjust our plans should the status of the pandemic change in the coming months.
I look forward to applying the lessons learned from the past year as we return to the full in-person learning experience that is integral to student life and to our educational mission at Vanderbilt.